We all know exfoliating is an essential part of a skin care routine. We should be using an exfoliant of some kind at least twice a week (if not three) to encourage cellular turnover in our faces, which promotes healing and radiance and a gorgeous complexion.
But what you might not know is “exfoliant” doesn’t necessarily mean “scrub.” So you don’tneedthose abrasive little microbeads in your face wash in order to be getting a proper, deep clean. In fact, those very beads could actually be causing micro tears on the skin’s surface if they’re not properly sourced. And if they’re plastic, they’re safe for your complexion, but bad for the water: They go right down your drain and into our oceans,choking and killing marine life. (Next time you reach for that scrub, think of Nemo, would you?)
So, what’s the alternative, you ask? Well, according to Renée Rouleau, facialist toDemi Lovato, it’s acid! Now, before you get scared, think once more of killing Nemo. We can all endure the gentle but well-meaning sting of a little acid peel for the sake of Nemos everywhere, right?
“Exfoliating acids like Alpha Hydroxy and Beta Hydroxy Acids are some of the biggest advancements in skin care to date,” Rouleau says. “Because of the smoother texture that results from AHAs and BHAs, they’re continually used in many products that improve skin conditions like brown spots, acne scars, and large pores.”